Ive bemoans rapid prototyping

Jonathan Ive has blamed the rise of rapid prototyping for distancing designers from the physical design process.

Speaking to Design Week at last week’s premiere of Gary Hustwit’s film Objectified, Ive expressed nostalgia for the days before rapid prototyping.

‘When we started out we made all our own models. Just pressing “print” is an obstacle to designers being close to the materials and the object. There is a lot of lousy design,’ he said.

Ive also attributed the ‘awful arbitrariness of form’ to technological advances on electronic products.

‘Form being divorced from a product’s function is a huge and incredible challenge for design,’ said Apple’s senior vice-president of industrial design.

He declined to comment on the state of the UK’s digital product design industry, and said he ‘didn’t know’ if he’d ever come back to work here.

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  • Ann Marie Shillito November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    It isn’t the rise of rapid prototyping that has distanced designers from the physical design process it is the use of CAD and the disapearance of workshops. As a designer jeweller and a research fellow, I know how important touch is for understanding form . The use of computers is now so ubiquitous that we have set up a company that has ‘haptics’ as virtual touch as the core of the software we develop (www.anarkik3d.co.uk). Designers learn to use different tools at different stages in the design process and for specific effect and interaction. Part of their professionalism is therefore about selecting what is best, for the work in hand (playing/exploring, communicating intent to colleagues/client, testing, etc) and also for the way that particular designer thinks. And this maybe through their hands as they physically make a model. So I take Jonathan Ive’s comments as interesting and provocative to keep us thinking and discussing how and why we design in the way we do. (www.anarkikangels.co.uk)

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